Sustainability at the EM 2024 – train instead of plane, tram instead of car

Three German fans at the World Cup in Qatar.

Unlike the World Cup in Qatar, many fans are supposed to travel to Germany by train. (IMAGO / MIS International / IMAGO / Marcio Machado / MiS)

In terms of atmosphere, the DFB is hoping for a second summer fairy tale from EURO 2024. But: “If we’re honest from the start, then the perfect ecological sporting event is one that doesn’t take place,” says DFB media director Steffen Simon right at the start of the sustainability forum, which is attended by around 200 people from clubs, associations and NGOs at the DFB campus attended.

Not holding the EM is of course out of the question for the DFB. However, it is important that the association is involved in ensuring that Germany meets its climate goals, says Simon: “We are important as an interface to the people. And if we take up the important messages now and carry them to our fans and those who are for If you’re interested in football, then that’s definitely one of our jobs.”

Biggest climate factor: the arrival and departure of the fans

The association is working to ensure that the EM produces as little climate-damaging CO2 as possible. The biggest factor here: the arrival and departure of the fans. That is why the stadium ticket should also be valid for public transport. In addition, there should be an Interrail ticket for the European Championship so that more fans can travel to Germany by train and not by plane. And in the group phase, the venues are arranged in such a way that all cities can be reached by train within a maximum of five hours.

Necessary measures, says Juliane Seifert, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for sport: “We must all be clear that we will not have a carefree party, that we will not watch football carefree if we have to be rightly accused of pollute the air unnecessarily or contribute to climate change. When we have to be accused of not doing everything we can to ensure that social rights and human rights are respected.”

Human rights: Criteria for the 2024 Olympics are probably more mature

After the World Championships in Russia and Qatar, Tournament Director Philipp Lahm sees an opportunity to set a counterpoint with the European Championship. “It’s simply a good opportunity to openly show our values ​​that we have, that we live by, to use them for our purposes, so to speak. What do we actually stand for and how do we actually want to live together in Europe?” However, there are still no concrete measures on how human rights can be protected during the European Championship. “So at the Olympic Games in Paris, the processes are much further along than we are here in Germany,” says Silvia Schenk of Transparency International.

The organizers of the 2024 Summer Games in the French capital have already established clear processes on how human rights violations are to be avoided – and what happens if they do take place. This must also be the case for the EURO, Schenk demands: “We also have human rights risks in Germany. We have precarious working conditions in catering, in security, in cleaning. Those are all things that we need at the EM.” However, according to Schenk, a detailed analysis of the human rights risks of the EURO is practically complete. Then the host cities could take specific actions.